Wood and Wire Stationary 3-Bin System

This system is used to compost large amounts of yard materials in a brief period of time.

This unit can be built for approximately $500.00. Construction requires basic carpentry skills and tools.

Do not use treated wood or treat the finished 3-bin unit with wood preservatives or paint of any kind. Use recycled wood or redwood for all bin parts. Overall outside dimensions 9′ wide x 36″ deep x 32″ high.



  • (3) 9-foot 2x4s
  • (4) 12-foot or (8) 6-foot 2x4s
  • (1) 9-foot 2×2
  • (2) 6-foot 2x2s
  • (10) 6-foot 2×6
  • (1) 16-foot or (3) 6-foot 2x6s
  • (9) 6-foot cedar 1x6s


  • 22 feet of 36″ wide hardware cloth
  • (12) ½” carriage bolts 4″ long
  • (12) ½” washers and 12 nuts for bolts
  • Box of 2 ½” decking screws
  • Box (250) of ½”wire staples
  • (1) 12-foot and (1) 8-foot clear corrugated roofing sheets
  • (3) 8-foot lengths of closure strips for corrugated roofing
  • Box ¾” wafer head screws for corrugated roofing
  • (2) 3″ zinc plated hinges for lid
  • (8) flat 4″ corner braces with screws
  • (4) flat 3″ T-braces with screws


  • Hand saw or circular power saw
  • Drill with ¼” and 1/8” bits
  • Staple gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Power stapler with 1″ long
  • Galvanized staples
  • Tin snips
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Socket or crescent wrench
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Safety glasses
  • Ear protection
  • Gloves



  • Cut (2) 31 ½ ” and (2) 36″ pieces from each 12-foot 2×4.
  • Predrill the holes and butt end screw the four pieces into a 35″ x 36″ section. Use the square to make sure each divider section is square.
  • Repeat for other three sections.
  • Using gloves, cut four 37″ long sections of hardware cloth, bend back edges 1″.
  • Stretch hardware cloth across each frame, check for squareness of the frame and staple screen tightly into place every 4″ around edge.

Set Up Dividers

  • Lay out 2 of the 9-foot 2x4s and set up the dividers parallel to one another 3 feet apart.
  • Measure and mark centers for the two inside dividers.
  • Place (2) 9-foot base boards on top of dividers and measure the positions for the two inside the dividers. Mark a center line for each divider on the 9-foot 2×4.
  • With each divider, line up the centerlines and make the baseboard flush against the outer edge of the divider. Drill a ½” hole through each junction centered 1″ in from the inside edge.
  • Secure baseboards with carriage bolts, but do not tighten yet. Turn the unit right side up and repeat the process for the top 9-foot board.
  • Using the carpenter’s square or measuring between opposing corners, make sure the bin is square, and tighten all bolts securely.
  • Fasten a 9-foot piece of hardware cloth securely to the backside of the bin with staples every 4″ around the frame.

Front Slats and Runners

  • Cut (4) 36″ long 2x6s for front slat runners.
  • Cut lengthwise two of these boards to 4 ¾ ” wide and screw them securely to the front of the outside dividers and baseboard, making them flush on top and outside edges.
  • Save the remainder of the rip cut boards for use as back runners.
  • Center the remaining full width boards on the front of the inside dividers flush with the top edge, and screw securely.
  • To create back runners, cut the remaining 2×6 into a 34″ long piece and then rip cut into 4 equal pieces, 1 ¼ ” x 2″.
  • Screw back runner parallel to front-runners on side of divider leaving a 1″ gap for slats.
  • Cut all the 1×6″ cedar boards into slats 31 ¼ ” long.


  • Cut (4) 32 ½ ” 2x2s and (1) 9-foot 2×2.
  • Lay out into position on ground as illustrated on front page and make sure they are square.
  • Screw in corner braces and T-braces on bottom side of the frame.
  • Center lid frame, brace side down on bin structure and attach to the back with hinges.
  • Cut the wiggle board to fit the front and back 9-foot sections of the lid frame.
  • Cut corrugated roofing to fit flush with front and back edges.
  • Overlay pieces at least one channel wide. Pre-drill roofing and closure strips for each wafer head screw hole.
  • Screw on top of every third hump with gasketed screws.
  • Secure the lid to a fence with a hook or prop it up with a piece of wood while using the bin.

For more information, email smcsustainability@smcgov.org or call 888-442-2666.